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Your views: on cyclists, Ayers House, compo and more

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on road safety, the politics of heritage, a backlash to workers compensation reform, vaccines and visual art.

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Commenting on the opinion piecd: Fatal cycle: the rising toll of rider deaths

Morry Bailes has some good even-handed comments in his (much appreciated) article, but I gotta pick a bone with him where he asserts that “Given the distances we have to travel in Australia, our roads were always intended for motorised transport”.

No mate, our roads are intended primarily for the transport of goods and people (which we all know is not dependent on a motor), and of course most of them predate motorised traffic by a good few years. And the country hasn’t shrunk (well, not much). In fact we mostly make pitifully short journeys. Overwhelmingly so.

Our roads (and accompanying budgets) have been dominated by motorised transport for decades, yes, but this is neither desirable, sensible or sustainable. It is, in fact, the origin of our fatal disdain for cyclists.

We now have a world where, to quote Morry again, “motorists just don’t expect them to be there” – (stating a fact, not making an excuse), resulting in what cyclists describe as a SMIDSY – Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You. As if we are invisible, unable to be seen, not rightly there.

But he’s right – you can’t legislate your way out of bad behaviour. You can send messages through your legislative agenda though, and then commit to funding compliance with it.

However, in relation to cyclists, this has never been tried before, so I’m not sure how successful it might be. Paul Anderson

Cyclists have exactly the same rights to use public roads as motorists.

Any motorist who cannot stop within the distance they can see the road ahead is driving too fast for the conditions. Plain, simple and accurate.

If the police simply issued expiations on video evidence supplied by cyclists then the one per cent of dangerous drivers would start to change their attitudes towards cyclists.

Cyclists with video cameras find the dangerous drivers but the police rarely go to the effort of followings up this evidence handed to them because the laws require them to invest too much time and effort; they have to visit the address of the vehicle owner, hope they are home, hope they admit to driving at the time/place before they can issue an expiation.

Fix the back end and the front end will fix itself. – Garrin Ross

Commenting on the story: National Trust fights Ayers House eviction notice

As a resident of Colonel Light Gardens, I recently received a letter from Minister David Speirs congratulating himself on the recently updated heritage protections for our suburb.

Given this government’s record on heritage I feel fortunate that Colonel Light Gardens sits in the marginal seat of Elder and the all important Boothby, because unless this government is publicly shamed by community action (the Gatehouse) or looking to protect themselves politically, heritage in Adelaide is not a priority.

The National Trust is a world renowned institution that is recognisable to our international and interstate tourists. It has preserved Ayers House for the public for generations, it provides a cultural service for us all that must be protected from this government and the next. Who is Minister Speirs to rob my young children of the experience provided to our schools by the National Trust at Ayers House?

Our history cannot be trusted to a government intent on the corporatisation and privatisation of our shared built heritage (Martindale Hall)!

In reply to the commenter (Your views Wednesday July 7), Ayers House was open six days a week pre-Covid, hosts all manner of workshops and seminars along with hosting numerous school groups throughout the year. It maintains and curates historical collections and coordinates a network of volunteers to keep Ayers House available to us all. If the National Trust has not managed to break into your sphere of interest I’m not sure that the History Trust has much hope either. – Alicia Siegel

Commenting on the story: Doctors, lawyers hit out at SA workers compo changes

We need to slow down and take a look at all of this.

I would hazard a guess that this whole debacle started decades back. It was entirely predictable and entirely preventable.

We need to understand that in the 80s, a bipartisan committee was put together in order to shift the old workers compensation system to a regulated process and create WorkCover SA.

We also need to remember that the intention of the workers compensation legislation is to return an injured worker to themselves, then to their community and then to work.

There are many questions that need to be asked: Is the current iteration of workers compensation serving the injured workers and the employers in South Australia? Is the current iteration of workers compensation fit for purpose?

The third question has to be: has the outsourced claims management process worked, or is it time to regroup and consider a return to “in house” claims management with an invisible third party underwriter?

Then we have the serious question of just how many injured workers have had their Australian Human Rights breached without even knowing they have protection by the Australian Human Rights Commission?

WorkCover SA (I will not call it by the current façade name) was once a proud leader within the National and International workers compensation system. It had innovative programmes and it understood that the only reason that it was in place was because workplace injuries happen. It did not hide behind clever slogans or cute animated cartoons designed to distract.

WorkCover SA had the only Injured Worker Focus Group set with the task of keeping the Corporation informed and on track. It was in place from ’98 through to the mid 2000s, and was shut down when the voices of the injured worker community became too loud for the then-CEO to tolerate.

What is needed right now is a Summit where the stakeholders including the injured worker community can come together -minus the claims agents. WorkCover SA needs a solid framework to be in place and to build for the next 20 years instead of this rash of kneejerk reactions to quibbles that were not created by the employers or the injured workers.

I have been an advocate within the injured worker community for over 25 years. I have sat on committees, I have helped with research, I have given evidence at Parliamentary enquiries and I have fought for the rights of injured workers. Tragically I have stood at funerals of injured workers who have been pushed past their ability to hope.

Enough is enough. It is time to call a halt to this lunacy and hold an urgent Summit to find what the best path forward is and then require the Parliament to pass into law (without political point scoring) the agreed path out of this debacle. – Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson, founder Craig’s Table NSW

Commenting on the analysis: Delta dawn: why this variant has authorities so worried

The protein Covid vaccines are coming – and they are much, much better.  

South Australian scientists have developed a successful, safe, effective, Recombinant Protein Covid-19 vaccine (not funded by our Federal Government) COVAX-19 (similar to Novavax) for all ages, right here in Adelaide, with no Adenovirus vaccine (AstraZeneca) blood clots or the serious side effects of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna).

The Flinders University vaccine specifically covers the new variants, stops transmission and is well tolerated. In global Phase2-3 trials now, hopefully available later in the year. It’s the only one I want for myself and my family. Far superior to the flawed AstraZeneca with its low efficacy against latest variants. 

Australians deserve the choice to have our own, brilliant, home grown, Covid-19 vaccine. Support and fund our Australian medical scientists’ research and development. Safe, equitable, easy to manufacture at scale, with high efficacy; that’s what is needed to end this pandemic. We don’t have to live with COVID-19 and resulting deaths and long-term health issues. – Wendy Goodwin.

Commenting on the story: Tarnanthi Festival announces 2021 highlights

I look forward to Tarnanthi each year and the huge canvas of works from First Nations artists. Colours and country, community and art.

Thanks for the article on the promise of the vibrant art to come in 2021. – Jenny Esots

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